Fair Indies, most tolerant land
The most tolerant country in the world is India*.
* when it comes to tolerating the weak and voiceless being attacked, exploited, raped, illegally imprisoned, ejected from their homes, burnt alive, blinded, left to rot in abject squalor, threatened, discriminated against, callously treated, killed through negligence, murdered et cetera. The exception is, of course, when a mighty God is maligned, or a hero-figure criticized, or a symbol of nationalistic pride challenged, or an Indian-looking person abused by a non-Indian-looking person, especially outside of India.
Case in point: Recently, an Australian citizen perpetrated a hate crime against a fellow Australian in Australia. This caused outrage in India and members of the Indian parliament (MPs) demanded that Indians abroad be ‘protected’, probably because the victim looked Indian. This show of solidarity would have been most praiseworthy, had not an Indian MP, a mere two days previously, repeatedly slapped an 60-year-old Indian gentleman in the Indian capital with his footwear because of being denied a business-class seat in an aircraft, and then tried to push him off the still plane. Painful as Economy Class is, few take it into their head to assault cabin crew. The MP then publicly, brazenly admitted to the act, expressing not remorse but pride at his behavior. When the airline announced that they would not permit him to fly on board their aircraft in the future, his political party organized a street demonstration to protest against the airline, and to show solidarity with their esteemed colleague.
That deeply, openly racist Indies, over-burdened with ills, clamors to have hate crimes prevented in one of the most liberal, prosperous, diverse, just societies in the world is a little puzzling — but it can be explained on the basis of a bully’s sense of self-worth, bolstered by anachronistic ideas of nationalism and puerile notions of racial solidarity.
What is truly incomprehensible is this: an Indian politician reminds the Indian polity of worrying also about racist attacks within India, and is met with immediate scorn and belligerence.
Oh, if only India were less tolerant! As the poet once demanded of the sacred river Ganges: how, why do you flow unperturbed?